Him: Hey Saba, just saw your post on needing a content writer. Just out of curiosity, are you looking for any web designers? I took a look at the site and I can see a lot of potential in having a beautiful landing page that attracts customers. Let me know!
Me: So you don't like my landing page?
Him: I didn't mean to offend in any way. Just on first glance, you can't really tell what it's for. Secondly, you are providing a very interesting service that should be highlighted. Instead, the site is very "corporate" in my honest opinion. Again, I had some ideas on a better design for your site.
Me: I am open to ideas, what do you have in mind?
Him: Check out my portfolio to see my previous work.
Me: Why are you linking me to your complete portfolio. I thought you had an idea on a better design for my site?
Him: What I'm offering is a complete service, I work on the design and get your feedback, then develop the site from start to finish and make any changes you need after that. You can't deny the importance of an attractive landing page that turns visitors into customers, especially for a startup.
Me: **Reluctantly opens the link... and finds previously created leather wallets and candles.**
Him: Would you be interested in something like this?
Me: Errr... good bye.
Lessons for anyone who is pitching their services to others:
1. Don't start off with something offensive. Praise the product or service or the brand first, then offer to make a suggestion. For all I know, you haven't even looked properly and you have no credibility to tell me what I am doing wrong.
2. If you think you can do it better, show me. Don't tell me how bad something is - unless you can back it up with an actual example.
3. This is my favorite one.... because the dude in the example above didn't even have any relevant examples. But if he did, still, I wouldn't suggest you link me to your portfolio full of websites. I don't want to scramble through 50, 20 or even 10 websites. Show me 1-2, maximum 3 samples of what you think I should be doing instead.
4. If you're going to link me to your portfolio, for heavens sake, have examples of what you're telling me I need to improve on.